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Rebels' Lonon extends baseball career
Rebels outfielder JR Lonon tears out of the batter’s box during a Feb. 23 home game against Metter. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
I played football, basketball and some other sports but they don’t compare to baseball.
Effingham County right fielder JR Lonon

SPRINGFIELD — Speedy Effingham County right fielder JR Lonon made his greatest catch Feb. 27. He snagged the opportunity to play college baseball by signing a letter of intent  to attend Southern Wesleyan University.

Lonon is thrilled with the opportunity to continue playing the game he loves. He has been swinging a bat since he was 3.

“I played football, basketball and some other sports but they don’t compare to baseball,” he said. “Baseball is just a brotherhood that you get. Everyone is there 24/7 when we are working hard in the cages, on the field and off the field.

“We are all together and no other sport matches that.”

Lonon’s work has made him a noticeably improved hitter. 

“I feel like, last year, I wasn’t really working on getting my hands inside of the ball,” he said. “This year I am focusing on trying to hit everything back through the middle and back side. That has really made my batting average climb a lot since last year.”

 Lonon is bad news for opponents when he gets on base.

“I think I’m around six for six in stolen bases this year,” he said.

Lonon has long been a stellar defensive player. He has been moved from center field to right this year.

“I get to show off my arm a little bit more but I don’t get as many balls over there. I just make the most of my chances,” he said.

Last summer, Lonon caught the eye of Southern Wesleyan coaches during a tournament. The Warriors are members of Conference Carolinas in NCAA Division III.